Velleman MK172 Sound Star

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Velleman MK172 Sound Star – $22.05 at the Velleman Store

This is a very festive, very fun, kind of complicated kit. It took me 3 tries to get it totally right the video for this article/ still is not the most recent one hence two lights not working. This took a total of 2 1 hour sittings to make this kit. It is very fun to use and show off to other people. It looks both holiday-ish and maker-y.

One of the things they did right with this is the nice bright colors I know i said this before, but it is so festive and so cool that you can point to the star on your tree and say I made that. Non-makers react really well to maker things that are in bright colors and familiar shapes and blink a lot. Frogs do too.

It sounds a little silly but in the last few sound type kits I’ve done, I’m starting to see how they work, how the diodes take the energy from the microphone and converts it to electric pulses that are sent to resistors that limit the energy going to the transistors that blink on and off the lights. Combined with also poking around with the multi-meter to see where the current does and does not flow is showing me how it all works.

I would suggest they add on a way to hang it on the tree. you have a christmas star but no way to put it on the tree. The common wire hangers are too short. Maybe next year I’ll try Elenco Hook-Up wires in white and red spiraled around. Another thing that would be nice if they changed was if they told you to do the LED’s last because its really hard to put in the components after all the LEDs are in. The other way around is a lot easier.

One things that i really tried to work around is the pads. Like most kits the pads come off easily. If you have a solder remover braid don’t use it on this kit, it will rip the contact off much of the time. This is a great kit for practicing with your multi-meter when stuff goes wrong.

This is not just a problem with this kit, it is a problem with every kit. It is not that much of a problem, once you get used to it, just be careful when you solder not to leave too much extra wire between the component and the board because that will press down and split the contact from the solder.

My first one was great, but there were two LEDs not working.  Dad wanted to show me how to use a multi-meter but he’s just learning too.  He blew out most of one full side.  We ordered two more, but I think I burned out my first try. I’m working really carefully on my third, but it will have to wait until next year before we are able to place it onto our tree. Hope it stays out of my dad’s hands until then.




This article contains items made and distributed by Velleman, Inc.  In the past they have supplied with items not specifically for consideration, however that were used in this blog. The velleman item in this article was purchased by me, REPEATEDLY, at full retail price from the Velleman Store.



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